CLAREMORE, Okla. — In tough times, folks will do whatever they can to make ends meet. Sometimes, that makes them easy targets for scammers, who’ll only make things, even worse.
Sitting in her driveway, in Claremore, you’ll find a red pickup. Sonia Hardy thought it would turn into her pot of gold.
“On my gosh, yeah, this is an answer to my worries.”
Sonia had received a letter and a check for $4,400. All she had to do was wrap her vehicle advertising bottled water and she’d be paid $800 a week.
Truly a miracle, or so she thought.
“I’m on social security disability and I’m just barely making it.”
That check, she was told, covered her first week’s pay and the $3,600 it would take to have her pick-up wrapped.
After she deposited the check, Sonia was to send money to a company, which would do the wrap. But Sonia has always been one to stay inside the lines, to be cautious.
“I was kind of leery of it because I’ve seen your report, channel 2 report on scams before.”
So she took the check to the bank and opened a new account to make the deposit.
Even though the person who sent the check pressured her by text, to wire money to the wrap company right away, she held off. And glad she did, too.
By the time she got home, the bank called to say the check was fake.
“I was a little disappointed because I had gotten worked up about it.”
Disappointed, but thankful.
If she had sent that $3,600 to the alleged wrapping company, which of course was a scammer, Sonia would have been left to pay that money back to the bank, while the crook kept her cash.
“That would have devastated me.”
The Federal Trade Commission says Sonia was one of the lucky ones. Too many folks, they say, fall victim to the vehicle-wrapping scam.
The FTC warns if you get a message urging you to deposit a check and wire money back, it’s a scam. Every time. No matter what the story.
If it was a legitimate car wrap opportunity, the FTC asks, wouldn’t the company pay the car-wrapping vendor directly, instead of asking you to pay?
“I do want to warn others, especially those that are struggling who think this is an easy way,” Sonia says.
And she harkens back to what her parents and grandparents would always say.
“It’s never that easy, if it is that easy, there’s something wrong.”
Advice, Sonia’s relieved she followed.
After all, the story of her red pickup transforming into a pot of gold is wrapped up with a happy ending.
Contact the Problem Solvers:
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere --